There is no danger of an explosion occuring on the site of the Meethotamulla garbage dump, Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Patali Champika Ranawaka insisted today.
Speaking to journalists at a media briefing on the ongoing rehabilitation efforts at the Meethotamulla garbage dump, the Minister said reports that Methane levels at the site had reached dangerously high levels were inaccurate.
However, Carbon Monoxide (CO) levels in certain areas of the dump have been found to be high and there was the risk of fires breaking out as CO is flammable, experts who spoke at the briefing stressed.
The rehabilitation of the Meethotamulla dump meanwhile, will be conducted in 12 stages with the help of three committees, the Minister explained. Accordingly, an expert committee, an engineering committee and an operations committee will function under the direction of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development.
The rehabilitation process will take place over five months. Only thereafter can a decision be taken regarding how much garbage will be removed from the site and what will be done to the land where the dump was situated, Minister Ranawaka added.
Meanwhile, at least seven major garbage dumps located in areas island-wide have grown far too large and were in danger of collapsing, it was further disclosed.
The biggest concern for authorities were two garbage dumps in Kandy which have become garbage mountains, namely at Gohagoda and Gampola. These were causing a severe threat to Polgolla Reservoir and Mahaweli River. Concerns have also been expressed with regard to garbage dumps at Matara, Galle, Kalutara, Peliyagoda and Kelaniya.
Minister Ranawaka said the only way to resolve the crisis was for relevant insitutions having responsibility to dispose of garbage to implement the guidelines due to be formulated by the three committees regarding garbage management.